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st: Converting ratings to rankings

From   "Mike Stern" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: Converting ratings to rankings
Date   Mon, 19 Jun 2006 16:45:57 -0700

Hi all

I have a programming question:

I have need to convert 8 variables from a social survey that respondents
rated on a scale from 1 to 7 to implied rankings.  The survey question asks
respondents to rate 8 items relative to one issue with 1 being much less
important and 7 being much more important with 4 being just as important
(conceptual middle point).  Therefore, a ranking needs to be relative to the
center point and because it now needs to be a ranking 7 needs to be recoded
to 1, 6 needs to be recoded to 2 and so on.

This would not be a particularly thorny issue except for the fact that
respondents often rated two or more of the variables at the same level (e.g.
two or three items given a 5).  For such ratings, I am taking a 1/2 point
off their ranking.  I have a situation where if respondents rated two items
5 (after the recoding needed to convert a rating to ranking--much more
important now equaling 1 instead of 7 and much less important now equaling 7
instead of 1 and so on) the two items receive a score of 3.5.

Does anyone know of ways that stata can convert ratings to rankings without
a large number of "if then" statements for every possible combination of
duplicate ratings?


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